Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Pooh has been having a rough time learning the addition math facts. We've actually finished his Alpha work from Math U See and he still doesn't know all of them. He'll know some of them for a while and then it disappears. He was always able to get through the material for the simple reason that he loved using the manipulatives. He's very adept at using them and after a little trouble in the beginning became very good at 'solving for the unknown'.
However, I think that he became a bit lazy with using them. He uses the manipulatives without really thinking too much about it. As soon as he comes to a problem he doesn't know, he just uses the blocks. There are a few he would get without them but most of the time he took the easy way. That, of course, is my fault. If I had made him stop and we had discussed each time why 4+5=9 (doubles plus one), then I think he may have been learning to do more in his head. He's keeping the math external instead of trying to internalize it and that's where we'll be getting into trouble if we don't get it corrected.
Anyway, I've borrowed the book Games for Math by Peggy Kaye from the library. The other day I found a simple game we could try together. I liked this plan because it will help him learn the addition facts in a fun way and yet doesn't require massive index card preparation. (Preparation for stuff like that almost always make it impossible for me to follow through. I admit it. So there! ;D)
The game is Math Ladder. Basically, you take one sheet of paper. Draw a ladder on it giving enough rungs so that you can write 0-10 one on each rung in random order. The game is played using one die. If I roll a 3, I then take the die, keeping the 3 up, and put it beside each rung starting from the bottom. I must then solve the addition problem of bottom rung number + 3 = (blank). If I solve the bottom rung, I move up one level. I keep going until I get a wrong answer or reach the top.
Pooh and I have played it for two days now. We play after doing some flashcards. Due to that, I make sure that we only go through two or three cycles of tossing the die. I also make sure that I get things wrong. Who wants to play with someone who's always right and wins?
This is a great referencing activity because both ways can be used for referencing. When it's my turn, I'll say 4+3=7 and wait for Pooh to nod his head yes or no. Sometimes he'll say he doesn't know the answer, sometimes he says "let me think" and a couple of times he's said the answer before me. ;D The same type of referencing can be done when it's Pooh's turn.
If I find any other simple, easy prep games in the book (or anywhere else) that work for us, I'll post them.